China has declared a health emergency after another killer disease, the Black death plague, emerged, killing a three-year-old boy.
The Black Death also known as the Great Mortality or the Bubonic plague, was the deadliest pandemic in human history that caused the deaths of up to 75–200 million people in Eurasia and North Africa, peaking in Europe from 1347 to 1351.
The Bubonic plague is a bacterial disease spread by fleas living on wild rodents and can kill an adult in less than 24 hours if not treated in time. It is known to be fatal in up to 90% of people infected if not treated, primarily with several types of antibiotics.
The child, from a remote village in Menghai county, Yunnan, tested positive for the killer disease on Monday according to Chinese state media.
Chinese authorities have now started a level IV emergency response to prevent another epidemic following the Covid-19 outbreak.
The development comes after the discovery of three dead disease-ridden rats in a village in Menghai, China.
In Mongolia, China’s neighboring country, there has been a Plague outbreak which has seen 22 reported cases, six of which have been confirmed.
A 25-year-old woman was reportedly hospitalized with the disease after eating an infected rodent called a marmot. Three of the six infected people have died in Mongolia – most recently a 38-year-old man in Khovsgol province earlier this month.
Hunting marmots is illegal in Mongolia, but many consider the rodent as a delicacy and kill it for meat.
Advancements in modern medicine cause scientists to believe that a similar pandemic is highly unlikely as it can now be easily treated, if caught.
The bacteria can travel through the air as well as through the bites of infected fleas and rats. Bubonic plague can cause swelling of the lymph nodes. If not quickly treated, it could spread to the blood and lungs. Other symptoms included fever, vomiting and chills.